Monday August 31st, 2015
Monday August 31st, 2015

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The Orbit

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Governors as rascals

  /   in The Orbit 2:08 am   /   Comments

Economy

The president of Nigeria has always come under intense public scrutiny. His actions, or inactions, often translate into any sense of failures, or the general sense of accomplishment attached to Nigeria.

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Buhari: Probing the process

  /   in The Orbit 12:43 am   /   Comments

Buhari

In just a couple of weeks, it will be one hundred days that the president, Mr. Muhamadu Buhari, assumed office as the elected president of Nigeria. There will be a lot of panegyrics commissioned as usual in the buyable spaces of the Nigerian media by sycophants and hangers-on, in praise of the president. Some will compare him to God – in his, well, God-inspired-omniscience.

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As Buhari plans his cabinet (3)

  /   in The Orbit, Viewpoint 12:40 am   /   Comments

This is the concluding part of this article. The second part was published in the penultimate Wednesday’s edition of Vanguard By Obi Nwakanma THERE is Dr. Alvan Azinna Ikoku III, who studied Medicine, and is an MD from the Harvard Medical School and also has a Ph.D in Comparative Literature from Columbia. He is currently

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Buhari does not have to love the Igbo

  /   in The Orbit 8:20 am   /   Comments

MUHAMMADU BUHARI

There has been a spate of criticism and worry from the Eastern end complaining that President Buhari’s appointments thus far have been lopsided, and has generally ignored the South-Eastern Igbo in large part, and the minorities of the South, to some extent.

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As Buhari plans his cabinet (2)

  /   in The Orbit, Viewpoint 10:27 am   /   Comments

WHERE Azikiwe preached political inclusion and strategic integration, his political opponents preached exclusion based on historic difference. The defeat of the Zikist vision of nation was the ultimate Nigerian tragedy; in its place have triumphed the Awoist and Sarduana models of Nigeria, in which “the North is for the North, and the West is for the West, and Nigeria for all of us.”

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As Buhari plans his cabinet

  /   in The Orbit, Viewpoint 2:28 pm   /   Comments

THE president, Muhammadu Buhari, pledged to present his cabinet in September, all of four months after his inauguration as president. The president has so far led the nation without an executive council, and with little more than a small presidential staff.

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Gbese and the Judge: in Defence of Justice Oloyede

  /   in The Orbit 12:55 am   /   Comments

court-law

Language is a bitch: when it wants it can turn, and twist, and yield contingent meaning often beyond what it sometimes intends. Take the Yoruba name “Aregbesola”: it could be unpacked into three distinct words Are/ Egbe/ Sola – normal short forms that carry the propriety of Yoruba onomastics.

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President ‘Go-slow’ in America

  /   in The Orbit 3:36 am   /   Comments

President Muhammadu Buhari and President of US Barack Obama during a meeting

Last week, President Muhammadu Buhari was in the United States for a state visit. During this visit to Washington, the Nigerian president had bilateral meetings with President Barrack Obama of the United States in the White House.

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President Buhari: Only listening and talking to himself

  /   in News, The Orbit 4:22 pm   /   Comments

MUHAMMADU BUHARI

It has now entered the official category of “ridiculous,” and possibly, the potential of impeachable constitutional breach. Nearly two months after his inauguration, President Muhammadu Buhari is yet to constitute and announce an executive council. This is a serious breach of presidential power. To be clear, it is a constitutionally grey area, what time limits a president has, before he could present his cabinet to the National Assembly.

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Touch-and-follow democracy

  /   in News, The Orbit 12:40 am   /   Comments

Igbo Chiefs

For years, pro-democracy activists sold the idea, indeed fought on the idea, that the democratic alternative was the only means by which a free people must organize and govern themselves. Freedom ultimately comes when we have a voice in the affairs of our community, and in the larger space of the nation through effective representation: the kind of representation in the Assembly of the people gathered to determine the ways and means of our national governance.

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The insolvent state

  /   in The Orbit 1:00 am   /   Comments

Aregbesola2

The Federal government is running on half its lungs: President Buhari’s inability to constitute a government nearly thirty days after taking his own oath of office is worrisome, and does provide some perverse humour for those whose thinking about Nigeria is often in the breach. It is true that the constitution does not give a time bar for when the president can constitute a federal executive council, but the law is quite clear that there shall be an executive council to make for the full governance of the republic.

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CHINYERE ASIKA (1939-2015)

  /   in News, The Orbit 12:00 am   /   Comments

Chinyere-Asika

Chinyere Asika was the first lady of the now defunct East Central State, from January 1970 to the expiration of the administration of her Husband, the now equally late Anthony Ukpabi Asika, by the military coup of July 1975. Mrs. Asika’s death came quietly on Sunday May 3 in Lagos, on arrival from South Africa where he had attended a meeting of the Africa Peer reviews commission. She would have been 75 on June 19th. Mrs. Asika’s death offers two important points of departure for this column: one is that every death of a public personage gives us the opportunity to engage with history; indeed we summon them to history, in much the same way as Wole Soyinka in his first major play, A Dance of the Forest (1960) summoned decolonizing Africa to confront its past in order to avoid repeating a “cycle of idiocy” of which Aroni, the lame one carrying his unhealed wound of history embodied, and which the errant dead and unburied child of that drama speaks to in its unspeakable horror. History is a patient judge

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Turmoil in the Assembly

  /   in News, The Orbit 12:22 am   /   Comments

FILE: Senate President Bukola Saraki (M) going in for his first plenary session as President of Senate yesterday. Behind him is Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu. Photo: NAN.

The leadership of the All Peoples Congress (APC) did not quite see it coming: while the party was still bickering over party choices for the leadership of the National Assembly, Dr. Olubukola Saraki and Mr.Yakubu Dogara, engineered something of a legislative coup. In swift, and adroit political moves, they formed a convenient legislative coalition with the rump of the parliamentary opposition, the PDP, and were elected as President of the Senate and Speaker of the Federal House of Representatives respectively, securing victories over Party favorites, Lawan and Gbajabimiala, and thus throwing their party’s legislative plan into free fall. As a trade-off, PDP’s Ike Ekweremadu was returned as Deputy President of the Senate. In actual fact, the position of the Deputy President of the senate has little political weight or significance, and is at best given only for the ride; but it does have just one important dimension: it guarantees the opposition presence in the room where important Assembly matters are to be discussed in a final caucus.

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It is Time, MR. PRESIDENT

  /   in News, The Orbit 12:58 am   /   Comments

buhari-pix2

With the inauguration of President Muhamadu Buhari as the president of Nigeria on Friday, Nigerians expect the promise of the transformative initiative on which his party, the APC, ran to be fully put to force. That time is now. At the Eagle square, the president said all the right things, and gave a heartwarming speech. He also set the tone of this government in the simple unostentatious ceremony that dispensed with many flowery rigmaroles, and went straight to the heart of the matter.

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Okonjo-Iweala: Public finance and high blood pressure

  /   in The Orbit 12:35 am   /   Comments

NGOZI OKONJO-IWEALA

Every time I see the publisher and Chairman of the Vanguard, Mr. Sam Amuka, he reminds me of what I’d like to be when I grow up. Spare and study, Uncle Sam seems built to defy time and the vagaries of aging. I have tried to find out the secret. Once at the flats, he said, “well, it’s the advantage of people like me built small.” It might well indeed be. My younger brother, Buddy, an Attorney in Owerri is also built small. I had joked with him last Christmas, that one day, people might say I’m his dad, when they look at him, and see me besides him. Small is good. Great things come in small measures. Like the Beetle, they are built to last. But there is something else to it. I have observed that Uncle Sam, at his age, swims at least ten laps most evenings. He has made it routine.

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Igbo Opposition

  /   in The Orbit 12:48 am   /   Comments

Igbo Chiefs

Zoning to unzone” the words of the legendary Nigerian politician and wordsmith, Kingsley Ozuomba Mbadiwe continues to offer useful political metaphor in these times. But what those words suggest was that zoning political offices at that time reflected the stage of Nigerian politics which was still fragmented by ethnic differences.

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UCHE CHUKWUMERIJE (1939-2015)

  /   in The Orbit 12:30 am   /   Comments

Chukwumerije: Ndigbo must think of 2015

I never met Uche Chukwumerije on the personal level, but I met his former wife, a classic Onitsha beauty who was also a former national athletics champion and educator. I was told by those who knew them well that they were well-matched in most things, and that they also drifted as many things also drift.

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The Lagos Palaver

  /   in The Orbit 12:12 am   /   Comments

Rilwan Akiolu, Oba in Lagos claims to be the “owner of Lagos.” He presumes, of course, because the throne which he says is an “undivided throne” is no more than papier mache. The Oba of Lagos, under the guarantees of Nigeria’s republican constitution and in the dispensation of its constitutional democracy, is no more the owner of Lagos than the Akara seller on the streets of Lagos. The Nigerian constitution grants equal citizenship and the rights pertaining to that citizenship to all its citizens without prejudice to gender, ethnicity or status.

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CHUKWUMA AZUONYE @ 70

  /   in The Orbit 12:05 am   /   Comments

chukwuma Azuonye

Let us celebrate good men. Chukwuma Azuonye, poet, scholar, and belletrist; one of the most versatile and most sophisticated intellectuals of his generation in Nigeria, belongs squarely to that”interstial” generation in Nigeria: that is how I describe that group of people born between 1945 and 1955; between the end of World War II and the formal transition towards decolonization in Africa in the 20h century.

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Ohaneze’s endorsements and other matters

  /   in The Orbit 12:59 am   /   Comments

Igbo Chiefs

As the days grow shorter towards Nigeria’s general elections, two weeks hence on March 28, the stakes grow higher; campaigns fiercer, more laced with calumny and denigration, and the posturings are dense with hyperbole. In the high stakes game to win hearts and minds, politicians throw everything into the grinder, including the devil’s poop, to make a special kind of smoothie for public consumption.

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Stealing is not corruption, it is a crime

  /   in The Orbit 12:43 am   /   Comments

CORRUPTION-cartoon

Stealing is not corruption. Stealing is a crime punishable in law. Corruption is logically the inability of the institution, or the perversion of the institutions established by law to prevent stealing, or punish it when it happens.

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Buhari in Chatham House

  /   in The Orbit 12:16 am   /   Comments

Gen Buhari at Chatham House

The APC Candidate has been on a tour of the UK, chaperoned by his political campaign advisers Dr. Kayode Fayemi and Mr. Chibuike Amaechi. Two things are rather immediately clear from Buhari’s UK tours: one, the APC presidential candidate has been forced to sup on bitter gravy over lingering animosities with Britain following the Umaru Dikko affair. This trip it seems is in part, made on bended knees. Is this Buhari’s attempt to bury the ghost of the past and any other hatchets with Great Britain?

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Not so fast, Ms Helima Croft

  /   in The Orbit 12:44 am   /   Comments

*Obama

If you talk to Nigerians, you’re bound to hear an increasing chatter; a perception in Nigeria that the United States of America is currently waging a covert economic and cultural war on Nigeria. This is not even in the north – but in the south – traditional bastion of pro-America sentiment, where they love all things America.

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The Governorship in Imo

  /   in The Orbit 12:27 am   /   Comments

presentation: From left, former Governor of Imo State, Chief Ikedi Ohakim; Deputy Speaker and PDP Governorship Candidate in Imo State, Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, his running mate, Hon. Chuma Nnaji, and Chief Ozichukwu Chukwu, during the presentation of Ihedioha to the people of Isiala/Ehime Mbano Local Government Area, by Chief Ikedi Ohakim, yesterday.

Let me first make a quick comment on the recent controversy regarding the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC’s) distribution of the Permanent Voter Cards, and the larger implication for protecting the right of suffrage for Nigerians. Voting in elections is both a right and an obligation for citizens of any nation under democratic rule, and it is incumbent on both the citizens and the state to protect that process.

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Agenda for the new president

  /   in The Orbit 3:02 am   /   Comments

Jonathan-Buhari

Whoever wins this forthcoming elections, will contend with profound challenges, and there is no doubt about that. Two of the critical challenges have to do with Nigeria’s economic security and the security of its homeland: the first, essentially, will be the challenges in grappling with massive revenue loss that might necessitate new, biting, austerity measures that will be a throw-back to the middle and late 80s.

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Buhari has Momentum

  /   in The Orbit 9:56 am   /   Comments

BUHARI-MILITARY

By some indications, simply by tracking all the polling numbers measuring possible outcomes for the February elections, it seems that Muhammadu Buhari, former Major-General of the Nigerian Army and former Military Head of state of Nigeria, has gained momentum in the polls in his current run for the presidency. The latest numbers by INEC showing the distribution of registered voters nationwide and by their regional or zonal propensities, pretty much reveals interesting realities in the current voting landscape.

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PDP ko, APC ni

  /   in The Orbit 7:38 pm   /   Comments

Jonathan and Buhari

Nigerians want change. They desire fundamental changes to the way things are currently in their lives at the visceral level. The trouble is that Nigerians themselves don’t seem to have decided or even determined what kind of change they wish for themselves. Change for what and to what? Here is a very basic question: what do Nigerians actually mean by “change?” What does the “change” they seek look like?

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Now, the die is cast….

  /   in The Orbit 12:31 am   /   Comments

Buhari and Jonathan

By noon on Thursday, it became clear that Muhammadu Buhari, retired Major-General of the Nigerian Army, and former Military Head of State of Nigeria (1984-1985), had emerged as the Presidential candidate for the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) for the 2015 General elections. Buhari is not a stranger to Presidential elections. He has had a go at it consistently since 2003: he ran against Obasanjo; he ran in 2007 against Yar Adua; he also ran in 2011 against Jonathan, the incumbent President. In all of these cases, the Daura born Army General lost. He did not let such humiliating losses deter him. It rather seemed to have fuelled a greater resolve to continue on the marks. In his last outing, Buhari had publicly declared very solemnly to Nigerians that he was on his last elections and would not run for public office again after 2011.

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Zikism: Nigeria and Risorgimento

  /   in The Orbit 12:21 am   /   Comments

Late Dr. Nnamdi-Azikiwe

It does seem clear to many of us who still have, and are guided by a sense of history that Nigeria derailed from its historical course, and drifts, when it abandoned Zikist ideology as its foundational myth. Much of Nigeria’s history, particularly since the civil war, has been shaped by a cynical disregard and disinterest in nation-building.

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The police assault on the National Assembly

  /   in The Orbit 12:22 am   /   Comments

Tambuwal adjourns sitting till Dec 3, says House under siege

As the law permits, Speaker Aminu Tambuwal remains Speaker of the National House of Representatives, until the House convenes and the Majority Leader in the House musters the whip to get enough votes to elect a new speaker. It is fairly clear that the Job of the Speaker of the House is dependent largely on the privileges of the Majority party in Parliament or a governing coalition.

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We are all Boko Haram

  /   in The Orbit 12:20 am   /   Comments

Boko-Haram

Boko Haram’s latest onslaughts in Potiskum and Mubi this past week draw our attention once again to the growing strength and defiance of its terrorist operations. If anything has defined the Jonathan presidency, it has been the Boko Haram insurgency, the single most dangerous political development in Nigeria since the civil war. In a sense, Jonathan is struggling with history, and the nature of his presidential legacy.

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P.O.C UMEH’S POETRY

  /   in The Orbit 1:23 am   /   Comments

Corruption1

Philip O.C. Umeh studied English at the University of Lagos; taught English at the Government College, Umuahia where he was senior English Master until 1978, and where he himself had been a student, from 1955 to 1961, one year below the writer and political martyr, Ken Saro-Wiwa in the famous school, to whom he addresses a eulogy, “To Ken Saro Wiwa” in his poems:

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